Movies come and movies go. Few leave a mark behind them. John
Matthew Matthan's Sarfarosh is a sincere attempt
to achieve something more than box office records. But something somewhere is
missing. Though Sarfarosh is a good movie, it could have been much better.
The director, out on his first venture in Bollywood, does a good enough job,
but Sarfarosh is not going to linger in your memory for too long.
Assistant Chief of Police, Ajay Singh Rathod (Aamir
Khan) comes from an upright, middle-class family. A terrorist attack
caused the death of his brother and the paralysis of his father. Ajay, who was
a college student during this incident, has since grown into a determined, able
guy who hopes to get back at the criminals, who caused his family such trauma.
Ajay is now a cop and he views all criminals, as the same ones who wronged his
loved ones. The true battle for Ajay begins, however, when he must apprehend
a band of hidden criminals smuggling arms into the country from Pakistan, via
the Rajasthani border. The arms find their way into the southern states of India
were they are used by various anti-social elements to fulfil their illegitimate
The investigation goes on and the process and frustrations faced by the cops
are shown very realistically. There are complex and interesting characters punctuating
the movie, making it all the more intriguing. Inspector Salim (Mukesh
Rishi) is one such character, who is accused of not being sincere just
because he is a Muslim. Naseeruddin Shah as the Pakistani ghazal
singer, is another substantial character who fleshes out the story. The story
goes from South India to the desserts of Rajasthan, where it finally reaches
a cinematic climax.
The performances of the movie are one of its strong points. Aamir Khan though,
in his quest for a serious image, in the movie, ends up looking a little wooden.
Ajay Rathod's family though does come to life on screen, with small realistic
quirks portrayed very well. Sonali Bendre is impressive in her small role as
Ajay's sweetheart. Mukesh Rishi gives a strong and commendable
performance and shows that he is being wasted in those meaningless villain roles
that he usually essays. Naseeruddin Shah is formidable as usual, in his cameo
role with shades of gray. The music is quite good, but the songs are irrelevant
and tend to irritate you though there are very few of them.
Sarfarosh is a decent enough movie, banking on the patriotic emotions rampant
in Indians. But it lacks that 'feel good' factor that is characteristic of such
movies. You watch the movie, appreciate the performances, and walk out. There
is a distinctive absence of euphoria. But still, the movie is far better than
all those meaningless romantic flicks that are continuously released and re-released.
Definitely worth a watch.